We all have an inner teacher (our own voice) ready to show us the way as long as we’re willing to be a student of our own intelligence. In yoga class the teacher is essential, but the reflection in the mirror is the best teacher of all.
Are you a reflection of your own ideas or someone else’s? If you expect everyone to get you, you’ll rarely get what you want. In fact, doing what others tell us to do is often a way to avoid accountability. Even though I highly appreciate brainstorm sessions and use them extensively in my company, I don’t always go with the crowd. My staff teases that we’re not a democracy, we’re a semi-benevolent dictatorship. I laugh, but I’m fine with that.
In a meeting, when I’ve gone against the crowd and made a decision contrary to their collective advice, somebody will invariably pipe up and say, “It’s unanimous!” and we all have a good laugh. It’s not that I don’t listen to the crowd, but the crowd isn’t always right. Neither am I, but at the end of the day, the decision, responsibility and the name on the company are mine, and it has to feel right.
Always trusting the groupthink is herd mentality. Blending into the herd is not a strategy for success. It’s only a strategy for staying alive if you’re a zebra or wildebeest. Agreeing with the majority doesn’t make you right; it just means you hang out with a lot of people of like mind. They might be so busy agreeing with one another that they miss the errors in their thinking. In a world jam-packed with information, ideas, options and opinions, you have to be willing to assess, decide and trust your own voice.
Wanting too much to be accepted as a group member or striving to please others can detract from thinking for yourself. Audaciously successful people often stand contrary to what the world believes is right, and they don’t care if their ideas upset people (think Richard Branson). They’re busy doing what they need to do and what others say they shouldn’t, or can’t, do. Of course your goal is not to upset, but to express your opinions uncensored, in your truest voice.
Be willing to stir things up, stand out and maybe tick off a few people. Let others “go along” and have their middle-of-the-road successes. Just don’t let one of those others be you.
Success Is Yours!